Apple devices on these old OS versions may lose services next month — here's what we know

Apple devices on these old OS versions may lose services next month
(Image credit: Future)

It feels like whenever your devices prompt you for a software update it's the worst possible timing, so skipping them becomes a force of habit until the situation gets out of hand and you haven't updated in months or years.

For those of you that fall into the latter camp, a new rumor suggests your time may have run out with Apple planning to cut off many services for iPhones, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and Apple TVs that are running on particularly old versions of their respective operating systems (via Macworld).

Which OS versions are on the Apple services chopping block?

Now if you've just skipped the last few updates on your iPhone then don't worry, this doesn't apply to you. We are talking users that have gone literal years without an update. According to Twitter user @StellaFudge, who has a reasonable track record with Apple software predictions, these are the OS versions Apple is targeting:

  • iOS 11-11.2.6
  • macOS 10.13-10.13.3
  • watchOS 4-4.2.3
  • tvOS 11-11.2.6

These versions of each OS are all five to six years old, so while there are still people on them, it's safe to say that they should have taken the plunge and updated by now.

What's services will Apple cut off?

iCloud is the only service that will remain functional according to Fudge, so that means that that means users could lose iMessage, FaceTime, the App Store, Maps, Find My, Siri, Family Sharing, Apple Pay, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple Fitness+, and Apple TV+.

That's largely speculative though as Fudgue didn't elaborate on the exact services, merely that iCloud will be exempt. For Apple's part, it does have a support document warning that "Some older software versions will no longer support Apple Services like the App Store, Siri, and Maps. Update your software to the latest available version to continue using these services."

However, it doesn't specify any further regarding which services and doesn't offer exactly which software versions aren't or won't be supported. You should receive a notification on your device if it is in danger of losing support for Apple Services, but if it's been a while maybe just check for an update anyway.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.